Almost any kitchen can benefit from some serious organizational overhaul. As a professional organizer, I recommend dividing your kitchen into its main stations and then organizing items according to their use.

For example, your food storage containers should all go in one drawer, utensils in another, and so on. This will help keep things neat and organized while ensuring they are easy to access.

1. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Having a meal plan can make grocery shopping and food prep easier. Plus, it helps you avoid wasting food by buying more than you need.

Interior designer and expert organizer Carly Waters says the best way to organize a kitchen is by organizing it according to use. This means placing items that are used most frequently, like silverware or glasses, within easy reach of everyone in your family and storing items you only need occasionally, like spatulas or utensils, in the back of cabinets or drawers.

The first step to this is removing everything from your cabinets cabinet by cabinet. This is a big job, but it makes the process of organization much easier.

2. Invest in Good Storage

A kitchen is a prime spot for clutter to pile up. Whether it’s utensils that are thrown haphazardly in a drawer or a cabinet full of items that are out of date, this type of clutter can make cooking and cleaning the kitchen more challenging.

Consider investing in storage solutions to help keep these spaces tidy. Drawer dividers can help separate out different types of kitchen tools like spatulas and tongs. Adding a narrow spice rack can help free up space in your cabinets for more frequently used spices.

3. Organize Your Dishes

One of the most important parts of keeping your kitchen clean and organized is having a proper place for everything. It’s easy for drawers and cupboards to become cluttered with items that have no real home, such as utensils tossed in a drawer or small appliances cluttering the counter.

A good rule of thumb is to go through your cabinets and drawers at least once a year to get rid of anything you no longer use or need (for example, water bottles or old takeout containers). Then invest in some organizational supplies, like dividers for your silverware drawer, that can help keep things in their designated places.

4. Keep Your Counters Clean

Over time, kitchens tend to accumulate bowls, electrical appliances and other accoutrements that make the counters look cluttered and take up space you could be using for food prep. Keep your countertops clean and organized by clearing off as much as possible after each use and keeping items out that are both commonly used and decorative.

If an item doesn’t belong on your countertop, find it a new home. Professional organizers often recommend that people designate drawers for silverware and cookware, cupboards for plates, containers and small appliances and closets or shelving for larger, less-used appliances.

5. Organize Your Pots and Pans

Having a place for everything makes it easier to put items back where they belong. Labeling drawers or cabinets is also helpful so you know where to find everything – from spatulas to cooking utensils.

Consider donating or selling items you no longer use, such as old pots and pans, or cleaning products that are expired. This will free up space and make room for new items that you will actually use.

Hanging pots and pans on a rack can be a stylish way to save cabinet space, while organizing them alphabetically or by size can help you quickly find what you need when cooking. Keeping lids in a separate storage area is also useful and easy to maintain.

6. Organize Your Utensils

Once you’ve cleaned out your cabinets and drawers, open them up and sort through the contents. Discard duplicate items, broken things or anything you haven’t used in a while.

Once everything is sorted, invest in some organizers to keep your kitchen tidy and organized. Drawer organizers are ideal for keeping cooking utensils together, while racks in cabinets make it easy to store lids and spices.

Hanging a pegboard on your wall is another good place to hang frequently used tools, like knives and measuring cups. This will free up space on your counters and make it easier to find what you need.

7. Label Your Storage

If you have a lot of items in your kitchen, organizing them into zones can make the space feel more manageable. Consider organizing your items into areas such as kitchen cleaning and supplies, food storage (pantry and refrigerator), meal preparation and cooking equipment, and serving pieces like dishes, cups, and cutlery.

Keep similar items together to reduce the time it takes to find things. Having an organized pantry makes grocery shopping less of a chore, and using clear storage containers helps you see what you have at a glance.

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